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Gov. Brown estimates Oregon is seeing $3 billion shortfall amid pandemic

An official revenue forecast is coming May 20.
Credit: Rick Bowmer
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

SALEM, Ore. — Estimates say the state of Oregon is seeing a $3 billion revenue shortfall this fiscal year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Kate Brown says the number is just an estimate at this point, and an official revenue forecast will be released May 20. The pandemic has led to massive losses in the business, travel and private sectors not just in Oregon, but nationwide. 

Gov. Brown says she has directed state agencies to prepare for a 17% reduction for the upcoming fiscal year, starting in July 2020.

"We haven’t made any final decisions... We know a potential cut of this magnitude would be extremely drastic," Gov. Brown said in a news release. “Whether the state will need to implement this level of cuts will be dependent on several factors, most importantly the need for additional federal funding to support state services, including our K-12 public school system."

She added that making cuts to critical state services will be a "last resort.”

Oregon is one of five states that formally requested $1 trillion in relief funding from Congress to help the states avoid massive cuts to services such as public health, public safety and education.

RELATED: Oregon, Washington among western states requesting $1 trillion in COVID-19 relief funding

Gov. Kate Brown announced new guidance and a three-phase plan for reopening counties and businesses last week.  

When a county has entered Phase 1, restrictions will be eased for restaurants, salons, gyms and local gatherings, so long as they meet requirements that include social distancing. 

The governor also provided guidelines for reopening child care facilities on May 15 with some limitations and specific guidelines.

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